Somalis arrested in Sweden

Two men are being held in custody in Sweden on suspicion of helping militant groups in Somalia, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors told a Swedish court that they are questioning a third man about the case but will not seek to detain him. The investigation is part of an anti-terror operation investigating transfers of funds to Somalia.

The three, who have denied the allegations, were arrested after raids in Stockholm. A further three men have been arrested in Norway in conjunction with the operation.

A spokesperson for the security police in Norway, Trond Hugubakken, told the press that the men in his custody were of Somali origin.

All the men stand accused of sending funds to groups with suspected terrorist links through informal money transfer networks. The networks, known as hawalas, are common in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

Somali groups in Norway have been protesting against the arrests. According to Hassan Ali Omar, a spokesperson for a number of Somali immigrant groups, said that Somalis often send money to armed groups back home, but these groups are not terrorists.

“We are a country at war and those of us in Norway support freedom organisations with money,” Omar said.

“The money is used for food and medicine, helping family members and the elderly, but also for weapons. But that’s not terrorism,” he said.

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